New lessons to keep your momentum going! Check out the lessons, tunes, and techniques to learn in our guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, ukulele, and bass courses.
by Dan Gabel
April 01, 2020
NEW LESSONS JUST ADDED TO THE STRING SCHOOL!
Each month, our instructors add new tunes, in-depth technique lessons, and play-along tracks to many of our courses. Check out this month's additions below.
Been All Around This World | Scott uses the old folk song “Been All Around This World” to illustrate how to take a simple Maybelle Carter–style arrangement of a song and make it your own.
Chicken à la Swing: Melody Guitar C and D Parts | The C section of “Chicken à la Swing” is in the key of F, and Dick McDonough’s part consists of single-note lines. The D part includes a series of ascending thirds and string bends up the neck.
Rhythm Patterns for Slip Jigs | Slip jigs are less common than jigs and reels, but it’s important to know how to accompany them. They use jig picking technique, but the phrasing is different: jigs are in 6/8, while slip jigs are in 9/8.
Gold Rush | The bluegrass jam favorite “Gold Rush” was written by Bill Monroe and fiddler Byron Berline Joe’s version is influenced by the way Berline plays it, especially the A part. You’ll learn the B part in two octaves.
Kickoffs in All Bluegrass Keys | Chad shows you kickoffs in all the bluegrass keys (B, E, A, D, G, C, F, and Bb) with an exercise that includes kickoffs to the root of the key as well as the third and fifth.
Old-Time Rhythm with Two-Finger Chords | Learn a style of backup using two-string chords with open strings that is used in old-time music. It can also be used as a variation in your usual bluegrass backup style.
Happy on My Way | The solos Bill Monroe played on his 1954 recording of “Happy on My Way” are good examples of his “gospel vocabulary,” in which he rarely plays the melody of the song.
Steppin’ with Stéphane | David Grisman dedicated his jazz waltz “Steppin’ with Stéphane” to the great violinist Stéphane Grappelli. It has some unusual chord changes, including a few diminished chords.
Old French | John recorded the Canadian fiddle tune “Old French” on Travelers with Butch Baldassari and Robin Bullock. It’s in the key of D and the A part features triplets, picked and played with hammer-ons.
Kitty’s Wedding | The hornpipe “Kitty’s Wedding” is the companion tune to “The Home Ruler,” which you learned in the last lesson. It can be tricky to keep from getting the two mixed up, but they sound great played back to back.
All of Me | “All of Me” is a popular jazz standard and has been recorded countless times, most notably perhaps by Billie Holiday with Lester Young in 1941. The melody is often the top note of chord voicings you’ve already learned.
I’m on My Way Back to the Old Home | “I’m on My Way Back to the Old Home” is a bluegrass standard written by Bill Monroe. You’ll learn the melody and a basic double-stop solo in the key of D.
Dark Hollow | The bluegrass standard “Dark Hollow” is often sung in the key of C, so Bill uses it to explore creating solos in the key of C (without a capo) on the banjo.
Sandy Boys | “Sandy Boys” is another popular old-time tune that a student requested Evie teach. It’s in the key of A, played with a capo at the second fret, and has a lot of flatted seventh notes.
Mikrokosmos | Composer Béla Bartok wrote his Mikrokosmos as a series of piano exercises that start very simply and become more complex as they progress. The first six are great for practicing reading on the banjo.
Mapping the Fingerboard for Single String | Wes shows you his concept of mapping the fingerboard for single-string playing, which involves wide scale positions that start on each note of the G major scale.
Bluesy Bluegrass Vocabulary in G | Chad shows you some typical bluesy bluegrass fiddle vocabulary in the key of G that you can use in solos and your backup.
Goodbye Liza Jane | The melody of the fiddle tune “Goodbye Liza Jane” has been around for at least a hundred years. It’s a great tune for creating variations and improvising on.
Last Of Callahan | Bruce’s version of “Last of Callahan,” a three-part tune played in AEAE tuning, mostly comes from Kentucky fiddler William Hamilton (Bill) Stepp, who was recorded by the Lomaxes in 1937.
Clinch Mountain Backstep | Ralph Stanley’s banjo tune “Clinch Mountain Backstep” is a popular bluegrass jam tune that uses the minor pentatonic scale, so Mike starts the lesson by showing you a minor pentatonic scale in open position.
Learning a New Tune at a Jam | Zoe gives you advice on how to pick up new songs on the fly and learn tunes quickly. She also shows you how to recognize common guitar chords and follow guitarists’ cues.
PLAY-ALONG RHYTHM TRACKS - Available to all subscribers. Guitar accompaniment video, downloadable audio, and chord charts for popular bluegrass, old-time, and roots tunes and songs.
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